Benjamin Eugene YoshikawaJune 8, 1994 ~ November 28, 2017 (age 23)
On Sunday November 28th, 2017 Benjamin Yoshikawa passed away at Dome Mountain Ranch in Emigrant, Montana.
Ben was born on June 8th, l994 in Lebanon, NH to parents Richard Toyoo Yoshikawa and Sandra Louise Joslin. He lived with them in Hanover, NH and Sharon, Vermont.
Ben began elementary school education in Hanover, NH at the Ray School and soon moved to Sharon, Vermont where he attended the Sharon Elementary School where he was a student through the second grade. Ben received his religious education from the United Church of Christ at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH where he was baptized on December 24th, 1995, Christ Redeemer Church of Hanover, NH, the Woodstock Congregational Church in Woodstock, Vermont and from the love and support of many friends of the family.
From 2001-2009 Ben attended Crossroads Academy in Lyme, NH, where he easily excelled in academics and athletics. Ben was as adept at solving complex math equations as he was defending the puck while playing ice hockey with his teammates on the Hanover Wild Travel Hockey Team and maintained a vigorous balance of both throughout this early time in his life.
Throughout his formative years Ben also was a member of the Norwich Scout Troop 253 in Norwich, Vermont where he enjoyed hiking and many outdoor adventures with his mother and father and fellow scouts, none more so than the trip he took to the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimmaron, New Mexico in 2008, one of many excursions beyond his New England home that opened his eyes and fascination with the West.
Ben chose to attend his father's Alma Mater and entered Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania in the Fall of 2009. He began life at VF in C Company, concluded his high school days in E Battery and In 2013 graduated cum laud with his fellow plebe brothers of the 86th Corp of Cadets, two of whom remained his closest friends for the rest of his life. During his junior year he and one other cadet were selected as exchange students to attend a semester at the Duke of York Royal Military Academy in Dover, U.K. where Ben continued his academics, traveled to Scotland, Germany and France and formed lasting friendships and wonderful memories. Ben had a wide range of interests and upon his graduation he had earned, to his credit, his Eagle Scout merit badge with the Cradle of Liberty Scout Troop 971, (Nick Boltuch and Kip Wolf scout masters) National Honor Society, Captain of VF Trojans Hockey Team, Cadet Captain, Varsity Golf, Judo Club President, Year Book Photo Coordinator, Regimental Choir and Vestries, Company Commander, Marksmanship Award, Harvey (math) and Headmasters (all around academic) Awards, and Peer Tutor in mathematics. Despite his busy schedule Ben continued his faith journey with the non-denominational Christian group, Focus, that met weekly on campus.
More than anything Ben wished to be remembered for the deep affection he had for his plebe brothers and the crucible of change that helped shaped him during those very special years together.
In the Fall of 2013 Ben was admitted to Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY under an AF ROTC scholarship where he chose a double major in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. Ben's keen intellect was evident as he continued to excel in all his classwork. In the spring of 2013 he felt the seeds of change and after a brief employment as a security guard in Burlington and a temporary driver for UPS Ben heard the call to go West.
In the spring of 2015 Ben followed his dream of a life in the outdoors to Emigrant, Montana in Paradise Valley where he accepted a position at Dome Mountain Ranch. In the two and one half years he was employed there he immersed himself in all aspects of ranch life including mechanics, irrigation, cooking, elk hunting, rifle safety training, animal care, crop planting, ranch and park guide, resort maintenance and care-taking the residence for a friend and fellow employee. When not working Ben enjoyed snowboarding at Bridger Bowl, piano lessons, classical music, and riding and repairing his motorcycle.
On July 30th, 2017Ben fully embraced his Christian faith and was baptized in the Yellowstone River surrounded by fellow friends of the Paradise Valley Community Church in Emigrant, Montana where he often worshiped and assisted with the youth ministry. On December 3rd, there was a brief service near the banks of the Yellowstone River near Pine Creek where some of his ashes were scattered back to the waters that brought him to this earth. He will be missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by his mother and father, a maternal grandfather, Eugene Joslin of Middlesex, Vermont, two brothers, Jimmy and Eric Yoshikawa and their wives Alisha and Chelsey, a niece, nine cousins, 3 uncles, 4 aunts, a Godparent, Jean Sibley, of Etna, NH, a stepmother Kerry Kemnitzer, a step brother and sister, Logan and Casey, all his close friends and co-workers of Dome Mountain Ranch, and the many friends and families who loved and supported him in the Upper Valley communities of NH &VT, and from many friends he made during his affiliation with Crossroads Academy, Boy Scouts, and Valley Forge Academy communities.
The family is making plans for a celebration of his life for a later date to be determined the time and place to be announced in the paper after the holidays. In lieu of flowers a donation can be made to Valley Forge Military Academy Alumni Association for a future memorial.